Greek gods: ZEUS, King of the Gods
Unlike many Greek deities, the origin of the name of Zeus are indisputable. “Zeus” is connected to a Dyeus ancient Indo-European deity, which roughly translates as ‘heaven’, ‘day’ (as opposed to night) and ‘clear’. All these points to its role as a god of the heavens, the sky and thunder.
As king of the Greek gods, Zeus is constantly portrayed in art, often with specific aspects or symbols to identify him and his purpose. For example, early classical vase paintings often show him hurling thunderbolts, which identified him as a mighty warrior god, member of Hephaestus the god of the forge and the manufacturer of lightning.
However, as the classical period progressed, it became fashionable to describe Zeus seated on a throne holding a scepter, often accompanied by the goddess Nike, symbolizing his role as king and the patriarch of the gods. It is important to note, however, that Zeus was not regarded as a tyrant and literature presents it as fair and impartial, especially considering that one of its functions mani was lord of Justice.
Regardless of their specific iconography, Zeus is always depicted as an imposing man, fully grown and with a beard – that indicates their status as patriarch of the Olympic family experience, unlike other male deities such as Apollo and Hermes, which often depicted as young men (efebos), beardless, erotically attractive, but not powerful. the power of Zeus is indicated by the symbols of the eagle, bull and oak adult.
Before the Greek pantheon of gods who are familiar with the Olympus ruled on a previous generation of deities, known as the Titans held on to power. The rule of these divine beings was Cronos, son of Gaia (Mother Earth). Crono’s mother had informed him that he would be usurped by one of his sons would be tremendously powerful. Therefore, each time Rhea Cronus wife gave birth to a child who would swallow the infant god to avoid tipping their power.
Birth of Zeus Part 1
Birth of Zeus Part 2
Having swallowed Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades and Poseidon, Cronos was deceived by his wife, love for his son, Zeus led a secret, while offering a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to Kronos in place of the baby. Sources differ as to the upbringing of Zeus, some say he was raised by Gaia, others by the nymph Metis, others maintain that he was raised by the goat Amalthea! In any case, all sources agree that when he was fully grown, Zeus returned to Mount Olympus to confront his father.
Void Zeus Cronos
Again, sources conflict on the details of the encounter between Zeus and Cronus, some say Metis emetic administered a drug so that Cronos devoured his children vomit, while others say that Zeus open the womb of his father free their brothers and sisters.
Zeus proceeded to release the Giants (100 giants of the hand), Cyclops (giant eye) and Hecatonchires (three giants, each with fifty heads), all the brothers of Cronus whom the tyrant had imprisoned in Tartarus. In gratitude for their freedom, the Cyclopes gave Zeus the knowledge of how to craft rays. Armed with these weapons and the help of their brothers and sisters, as well as the giants in the wild, Zeus, declared war on the Titans (this battle is popularly known as the Titans).
The Titans were defeated and consigned to Tartarus to be punished for eternity in the custody of the Giants. Atlas, however, was selected for special punishment as it had been the joint leader of the Titans (with Cronos) and Zeus was forced to bear the weight of the SJK on his shoulders forever. Not all of the generation side of the Titans Cronus, Oceanus, remained neutral, and Promethius is said to have been of great help to Zeus.
Having usurped the ancient gods, Zeus is established as the king of Olympus and lord of heaven, the delegation of domains to their brothers (eg, Poseidon was given dominion over the control of the sea and Hades the Underworld). The only people that Zeus does not claim control over fate and the fates were, which remains infallible throughout the reign of Zeus, as seen in Homer’s Iliad, where Zeus tells Thetis can not save your child’s life which is destined to die.
After the fall of the Titans, Zeus’s grandmother, Gaia, is angry at the new order of the gods, either because he felt that the Titans were treated unfairly, or because he felt he was not being honest enough in the Olympic scheme new. Therefore, in revenge, gave birth to a race of giants, hideous creatures, gigantic in size and almost invincible.
Among the hordes of beasts were known as Echidna and Typhon. As soon as they were born, these giants launched an offensive on Mount Olympus, the gods forcing wages to fight again. The Giants tried to reach heaven by piling mountains of Thessaly, Ossa and Pelion.
The gods were against the giants, but would not have won if not for the help of Athena (which some sources say he was born in the midst of the battle of the head of Zeus) and Heracles, who struck the death blow to Alcoyoneus The leader of the Giants. The Gigantomaquia was a popular subject in classical art, often displayed in temples, as the eastern metopa the Parthenon in Athens.
The wife of Zeus
Having established himself king of the gods, Zeus made Hera his sister, his wife and the queen (and very likely, because of this union that Hera is known as the goddess of marriage). Hera is almost always portrayed as the wife of Zeus and can hardly be considered an important mythological figure itself hour.
She appears mainly as an interference in the affairs of Zeus, often demanding vengeance fierce lovers of her husband. A good example of this is when Zeus fell in love with Io, Hera, with full knowledge of this, Zeus forced to hide the truth by transforming the girl into a cow (Promethius Bound by Aeschylus). Hera is also known to have viciously attacked the illegitimate children of Zeus, Heracles most infamous, which is caused to go crazy and kill his own wife and children.
Zeus famous lovers and children
Apart from Hera, Zeus’s lovers were many and varied, sometimes their emotions down to the goddesses, other mortal women. As mentioned above, Zeus raped Io, and seems to have had a great love for the girls, going to have sex with girls as Leto (who raised Helen of Troy), Alcmene (who raised Heracles), Europe (which raised Minos and Sarpedon), and many other lesser-known issues are listed along the mythological tradition.
These women and children, Hera was able to pursue, however, when Zeus decided slept with a goddess is limiting his ability to punish, and Zeus decided that he slept with a goddess often enough. Among her lovers was divine Leto (mother of Apollo and Artemis), Mnemosyne (which gave birth to the nine Muses), Dione (mother of Aphrodite) and Demeter (Persephone wearing).
It is theorized that these relationships were not punished as they were in some way universal and natural – Guerber suggested that as Zeus was the god of heaven, his affairs with beings as Dione (moisture) is symbolic, not unlike its relationship with Juno (the atmosphere).
Therefore, it appears that Zeus affairs with women were many and almost always result in a child. the love of Zeus, however, not restricted to women, as evidenced by the famous example of Zeus, who was obsessed with a handsome young man named Ganymede, kidnap the child and take him to Olympus to be cup bearer immortal the gods and his consort.
Although this type of behavior can be seen as scandalous in today’s society, the Athenian practice of pederasty (in which a senior citizen male take under his wing a young – efebo to present it in the ways of adult society while conducting a sexual relationship) was common and more or less essential part of puberty for a girl. Thus, in this myth, Zeus can see that taking the role of lecherous rapist as in its relations with mortal women, but a mature, responsible citizen, induction of a naive child in the forms of society the gods.
Zeus and Humanity
The relationship in which Zeus held the man is not clear, as different myths concerning the relationship between Zeus and meetings with varied human evidence. For example, in the famous myth of Promethius and Pandora, Zeus forbids man to take fire from Zeus to the gods do not want to and to prevent human beings move by obtaining the cooking methods on food forging tools and keep warm.
When Promethius disobeyed the decree for stealing a spark of divine fire and giving it to men, Zeus chained the Titan and punished him with an eagle kissed his liver every day. Not satisfied with punishing Promethius, Zeus also had their gods fellow workers in the first woman, Pandora, and gave the world a box was never opened. However, Zeus had given him an intense curiosity, which leads to his being unable to follow instruction and opening the box, releasing all the evils of the world to plague mankind.
While history suggests that Zeus had great animosity towards humanity as a whole, it seems that later in the development of the human race softened the feelings of Zeus, as shown in the story of Philemon and Baucis. According to Guerber version of the myth, Zeus often visited the earth, assuming a disguise, and the visit of men to determine the state of the world firsthand.
One day, Zeus deigned to visit the family poor but pious Philemon and Baucis. When Zeus came to the appearance of a mortal, the couple were eager for the hospitality in accordance with the laws of xenia (a specific code to make caring friend invited a guest, by the way Zeus was the guardian of foreigners and the executor xenia) and chose to kill their last chicken to feed their guests. Seeing Zeus revealed his generosity and gave them both a long life of service to the gods as he wished, and when he died Zeus transformed both oak trees standing in front of his church for centuries.
Cult of Zeus
Although, as the chief god of the Greek pantheon, Zeus had places of worship in Greece, the largest electoral district and most famous was Panhellenic in Olympia. It was in this place that the ancient Olympic Games originated, and men from all over Greece during the build up to compete against each other for their own honor and his city-state.
These games were very politicized, often in conflict with competing cities for the glory and the prestige of victory. In fact, it is normal to have treasures Panhellenic enclosures in which to save the votive offerings from different cities, the treasures of Olympia is located on the main road through the site, promoting gifts and no city wanted to be shown up by their neighbors for not gifted enough. The temple of Zeus at Olympia was home to the famous statue of Zeus, now lost, was one of the wonders of the ancient world and Pausanias (an ancient Greek travel writer) urges everyone to visit Olympia to experience.
The place of worship of Olympia may have been the largest in existence, but there were other sites throughout Greece, each with slightly different ideas about Zeus, their role and how to worship him. For example, Herodotus tells us that Zeus was often perceived as a god of time, so that worship is often concentrated at the top of the mountains near the sky.
The most important of the mountain of Zeus-sites was, of course, Mount Olympus, although no archaeological evidence of a peak-sanctuary, is likely to have been or some kind of seal on the mountainside, or the Olympic rituals were conducted there. These shrines, however, have dug in other places, for example, on Mount Hymettus, and it seems as if these were related to rain rituals.
Although rare, Zeus is sometimes referred to in ritual contexts as “signals” or “the harbingers of ‘, suggesting that performed some kind of oracular function. As Zeus was an incarnation of fate, among other things, it seems asked appropriate omens of divine favor rather specific as no amount of prayer will allow Zeus to go against the course of destiny.
This aspect of Zeus is further illustrated by a few oracular sites, at Dodona, in Epirus (reported as the oldest of Oracle in the Greek world, active until the end of the eraas Hellestic well as in Siwa, Egypt. Hornblower states that priests Oracle interpret messages given by God, in the forms of the flight paths of birds in and around the sacred oak trees, divination by lot (cleromancy), by the sound of a gong and / or singing the birds nearby.
As mentioned above, Zeus was traditionally represented as a man fully developed. The cult in Crete, however, seems to have worshiped Zeus as an Adonis like all art that represents it shows a young man with long hair at the edge of manhood.
Many features of Zeus
Zeus, like most of the gods of the Greek pantheon, had many roles and epithets aside from its primary function as a weather god and the king of Olympus. Zeus Panhellenios its title shows its applicability to all of Greece as it literally translates as “Zeus of all the Hellenes.” As mentioned above, Zeus was the lord and executor of Xenia, what is the name of Xenios Zeus, the patron deity of hospitality, friendship and evaluation, punishment of those who violated the laws of xenia. In addition, Zeus watched Agoraios trade relations in the market (agora) and was ready to punish the rogues, thieves and unfair traders.
Another aspect of Zeus was the guardian of oaths and punish those who violate the oath. As a result, oaths were often sworn by almighty Zeus’ and people who violated the terms of his oath were made for
Euhemerism is the method of interpretation that seeks to rationalize the fantastic to make it more understandable and hopefully reveal an indication of the truth behind these stories. The founder of this school of thought, Euhemerus, proposed the idea that Zeus was not a god at all, but I was a king, who had been glorified after his death, probably with some kind of extravagant monument, and his fame has led to stories of his life is distorted until it finally became a deity in the minds of later generations. Greek Mythology
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